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5 tips for first-generation college students

First generation college students and tips for success

Being the first in your family to attend college can be challenging! First generation students will experience many difficult transitions. Some of these may involve changing family dynamics at home, transitioning to college level coursework, or understanding a new social environment. With the right mindset and support you will find a great home at Augusta University.

As you acclimate to college life keep these tips in mind:

  1. Set goals…and stick to them! Goal setting is an important part of college life. Goals can be set both academically and socially. Setting these goals can help you keep a balanced approach to college life. Keep your goals positive – focus on what you want to achieve (I want an A!) versus what you are afraid of doing (I just don’t want to fail!).
  2. Plug in to campus! Find a volunteer opportunity or campus student organization to make a connection with other students on campus. Finding others on campus who are passionate about similar things will make the campus feel more like a community.
  3. Get to know your professors. Stop in to your professor’s office hours (office hours are time set aside for students to interact with professors) to introduce yourself and ask questions about the class syllabus or to explore class content. Tip within a tip: Make sure you understand the syllabus and use it to map out your assignments and classes for the semester.
  4. Have an open mind. Through classes and peer interactions you will hear and experience things different than home – that is great and an important piece of college. Enjoy these experiences as chances to better understand other people’s perspectives and beliefs. Start to think about how you will share college life with your family – what will they be excited to hear about?
  5. See something, do something! If you hear music coming from the JSAC or a cultural event happening in Allgood, take advantage of it! Join the activity to have some fun between classes – you may learn something new about yourself or another culture.

Some resources available to support you:

Housing & Residence Life: For the student who chooses to live on campus, the Housing and Residence Life team provides students with social, cultural, and recreational experiences to foster academic success and personal growth.

Academic Success Center: The center is home to support services including tutoring, academic coaching, and workshops. It’s also a great space for group or solitary study sessions.

Academic Advisement: An integral part of college is the selection of major, acceptance to that program, and commitment to the development of a scholarly career path. Advisors can help towards building future goals while students explore, select, and confirm their majors.

Student Life & Engagement: The Student Life team supports over 100 student organizations and an engaged Greek Community. They also work closely with other university departments to give our new and transferring students a fresh look at Augusta University through Jaguar Student Orientation.

African American Male Initiative: The African American Male Initiative (AAMI) is a leadership development program designed to cultivate the talents and abilities of African American male students to support their academic and future career goals.

Student Counseling and Psychological Services: Highly trained and experienced staff are available to assist students with a variety of personal, developmental, and mental health concerns. We provide consultation, individual, couples, and group therapy, same-day walk-in crisis services, psychiatric services, and a range of prevention and outreach programming.

The Augusta University community is a great place for first-generation students to enjoy and build skills of independence as you prepare for life after college. Augusta University is here to support you. You are a Jaguar for a reason, and the entire JagNation wants to help you succeed. Take advantage of the many resources across campus to navigate a successful transition to college. You are an important part of JagNation!

Ready to start your new journey as a Jaguar?

Come and see us! Learn about on-campus life and experience Jag Nation with a student-led tour and information session. We think you’ll love Augusta University as much as we do. Apply Now!



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Joe Pierce

Mr. Pierce (he/him/his) is the Director of Student Engagement overseeing campus life functions at Augusta University. He is passionate about creating a meaningful student experience. In college he was involved in his fraternity, student government, and student publications. He is also a Student Affairs Leadership doctoral student and the father to three young boys.

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JagNation is the nerve center of student life at Augusta University. We operate on a simple premise: We give you the information you need and want to thrive at Augusta University. Look for stories and tips to help you make the grade, land a job and enjoy your time here on campus.

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